Verizon to Provide New Local TV Channels on FiOS TV

LAS VEGAS - Verizon announced (Tuesday, Jan. 9) that it will launch local television channels in selected markets in 2007, starting with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in the first quarter.

Michelle Webb, a former ABC News producer, will produce and manage the project.  The announcements were made at the Consumer Electronics Show here. Verizon will offer the local channels, to be called FiOS1, on its Verizon FiOS TV service.

FiOS1 will include round-the-clock traffic and weather, local news and community sports.  Verizon will partner with professional news organizations to deliver some of the content.  It will also televise original features shot and produced by citizen journalists using high-definition camcorders and provide a platform for local user-generated content.  Verizon will announce more details as the launch date approaches.

Webb joined Verizon last spring as executive producer and general manager, FiOS1 local channels.  Prior to her current position, she served for four years as a producer of the ABC News program "Primetime Live," where she did preproduction planning, research and storyline development for features and segments presented on the network's television-magazine shows.

From 1996 to 2002, Webb served as associate producer at CBS News' "60 Minutes," where she worked with correspondent Lesley Stahl. Before joining "60 Minutes," Webb was a producer at "20th Century with Mike Wallace," and a producer for CBS News' documentary unit, for which she wrote biographies and investigative reports for the cable outlets of A&E, The Learning Channel and the History Channel.

Webb is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).  A Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellow, she holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Harvard and Radcliffe College.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.